Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Sweet Smell of S....

The situation surrounding the ongoing controversy involving Collingwood Ethanol took a bizarre twist this past weekend with both a staged picketing of the plant and a massive telephone campaign that included automated calls to both personal and business phones attacking Mayor Carrier for his alleged "anti-business" attitude. As reported in the media, the telephone campaign was conducted by a Calgary based organization the Progressive Group for Independent Business (PGIB) which bills itself as a "business club."
While I am not always in agreement with Mayor Carrier and yes he has made some mis-steps in judgement, the real issue at hand is not his alleged anti-business stance. It's the fact that we have an industrial entity in our community that is exceeding Ministry of the Environment (MOE) standards for odour emissons by 115 odour units. The aceptable level is one (1) odour unit whereas MOE measurements taken back on June 11th recorded a level of 116 odour units. In its 15 months of operation, Collingwood Etahnol has embarked on a program to meet the emission requirements as set out in the Certificate of Approval. No doubt, converting an aged starch plant over to ethanol production was not as easy perhaps as everyone thought. Collingwood Ethanol have yet to reach their targeted objectives, claim they need more time above and beyond the date invoked upon them by the MOE to install and or modify their equipment and frustrations on all fronts are running high.
Two things in this ugly ongoing mess are certain. First, the time has long since past when the world can afford to ignore environmental infractions even if only involving odour. Too much environmental damage has already been created for current and future generations to clean-up. Perhaps if being a good corporate citizen were truly put to the forefront of their agenda Collingwood Ethanol would take a voluntary shutdown in order to complete the necessary improvements that will render them compliant with their Certificate of Approval. And what is installing a taller stack going to accomplish other that pushing the odour higher in altitude sending it to where Wasaga Beach or Elmvale? In launching a campaign such as last weekend's telephone extravaganza Collingwood Ethanol merely attempted to deflect the real issue at hand and is ducking their morale environmental and community responsibilities.
Secondly, you must ask yourself, is it realistic or sensible for any of us to believe that a Mayor or any politician for that matter would have an "anti-business" mandate. Hardly and that's where the hilarity in PGIB's accusations begin and end.


Fred said...

Sir, this is the 1st I have read your web site. I think you have summarized the issues quite nicely in your suggestion that we need to protect the environment for future generations. Thank you


flappleton said...

What happened to your latest blog entry titled "Self Proclaimed Business Advocate or Dud"? I can only get a cached copy.

Rick Crouch said...

My prior posting titled "Self Proclaimed Business Advocate or Dud?" was met with a hostile response from Craig Chandler of PGIB with threats of legal action. It would appear it is appropriate for PGIB to blow into Collingwood like a Chinook from the Rockies for the purpose of making ill-informed inflamatory remarks about our Mayor and others. There appears to be no opportunity to engage in a two way dialogue with the subject group as their opinions are the only ones they acknowledge. This belief re: PGIB is widely supported by the views of numerous Albertans who are closer to this organization than we are. As such I have no further desire nor time to engage in any further dialogue with or about this group.

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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.